Centre unlikely to undertake any new PSU divestment in 2023-24May 26, 2023 10:52
The Union government is unlikely to undertake any new public-sector undertaking divestment -- including privatisation of public-sector banks -- in 2023-24, said a senior official in the know. Any such stake sale might take place only after the general elections next year.
"There is little chance of a new stake-sale transaction before the general elections. The priority will be to speed up the ongoing deals, including those to sell stakes in IDBI Bank, Shipping Corporation, and Container Corporation of India (Concor)," the official said.
"Even the proposed privatisation of two public-sector banks and a general insurance firm has been postponed."
According to sources, it was felt that this might not be an opportune time to privatise big State-run enterprises, as 2023-24 is the last financial year before the Lok Sabha elections to be held in April-May next year. Besides, global uncertainties could also not be ignored, as these influence both market conditions and government moves.
Notably, the process is currently on to sell stakes in PSUs like IDBI Bank, Concor, Shipping Corporation, BEML, and NMDC Steel.
While IDBI Bank has received preliminary bids, the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (Dipam) is expecting financial bids by September. Expressions of interest for Concor, however, might take longer, hinted the official quoted earlier.
-- Shrimi Choudhary/Business Standard